|The French arrive to relieve the siege of St. Quentin|
I've mentioned before my interest in the pike and shot era. Typically I've been more interested in the Thirty Years War and the English Civil War. I've recently done some reading on early Renaissance warfare though, and I'm finding it fascinating.
|Imperial light cavalry skirmishes with the French at a river crossing while the remainder of the Imperial forces move up. From a hypothetical French vs. Imperial scenario.|
Cavalry, the favored arm of all Medieval armies from the fall of Rome becomes a secondary arm. The once scorned infantry, now equipped with firearms and supported by early field artillery becomes a dominant force on the battlefield. The innovations of great captains like Gonsalvo de Cordoba and the Marquis of Pescara lay the foundations for today's armies.
|The French cavalry are cut off and forced into marshy terrain. Unable to charge they are cut down by the fire of Imperial arquebusiers and artillery|
|As happened more often than not when the French couldn't use their cavalry to their advantage, the Imperial forces win a stunning victory.|
|The Pavia Campaign kicks off with an Imperial army, trying to ambush the much smaller force of Montmorency instead encounters the army of La Palice|
I really enjoy gaming the wars of this era. Armies of the period make use of an interesting range of troops, from crossbowmen to arquebusiers to pike-wielding infantry, along with a dizzying range of artillery types. I'm also very interested in the differences in the characters of the national armies.
|The Imperials anchor their line of infantry on some rough terrain on the left and a forest on the right. Arquebus fire and pikes will have to hold off the French gendarmes and other cavalry.|
|The French try and flank with light infantry, but are stopped by the Imperial reserve and light cavalry. Again, arquebus and cannon fire take enough of a toll on the French cavalry to bring about a French defeat.|
My go-to game for all of this has been Musket and Pike: Renaissance from John Tiller Software. If you're after a great computer representation of the era, I highly recommend it as the best available option today. I have some board games on the way that also cover the period. More on those when they arrive.